Christmas might well be the most magical time of the year, but the build-up can be intense and exhausting! So, once Christmas Day and Boxing Day are done, I like to consciously give myself permission to have some much-needed rest before the fun of New Year!
If you’re used to putting other people’s needs before your own, here are some easy tips to help you on your way to feeling relaxed and refreshed. Taking time to do things you enjoy and being kind to yourself will leave you feeling restored and revitalised, and this is the perfect way to enter the new year fresh and raring to go.
Spend time outside
When we have crisp, dry wintery days it’s the perfect time to wrap up warm and head outside for a walk. We spend a lot of time sitting around and eating over the festive period, which can make us feel lethargic so it’s great to get out and get your muscles working and your blood pumping.
Exercise also comes with some rather lovely health benefits too such as improving your mood, supporting bone health and better sleep. Cooler temperatures also give your brain a little boost which helps you think more clearly, whilst being outside also supports your immune system and reduces stress.
Make good food choices
Over the festive period many of us eat and drink more that we usually would, and quite often we consume rich, heavy foods and a few too many festive tipples. When we continue to eat and drink this way it can make us feel fuzzy and sluggish. Although I love to eat a traditional Christmas lunch with a glass of good quality red wine, I also try to include foods that aren’t so heavy in carbohydrates on the days between the big family get togethers.
For me this looks like a delicious smoothie or a bowl of natural yoghurt, seeds and fruit for brekkie; a crisp salad with left-over turkey/ham or my Chicken Miso Noodle Soup for lunch; and a light supper of fish and stir-fried veggies.
I also try to drink lots of lovely soothing herbal teas and water to make sure I’m fully hydrated to help flush out any toxins from overindulgence.
Life can be pretty hectic and busy and we often forget to stop and take a moment to breathe and be grateful for the things we have in our lives that bring us joy.
Try taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to make time to sit, reflect and really think about things you are grateful for. It is an incredibly effective antidote for stress and anxiety.
Buy yourself a lovely notebook, and between Christmas and new year spend time with yourself and list just three things that you are grateful for. This could be positive things that have happened that day, or moments that have happened over the year or festive period that you feel deep gratitude for. You may enjoy this so much that you continue it into 2023.
Yes, pamper yourself
A little bit of pampering is always time well spent and is great for helping you to relax and wind down. Taking a bath is my go-to. You could choose some wonderful scented bath salts. I adore a bath with magnesium flakes with lavender, and then I light a natural beeswax candle and shut the bathroom door and forget about the world for an hour or so. It is a wonderful treat, a DIY spa experience within the comfort of your own four walls!
Other simple ideas include cosying up in front of a burning log fire and listening to your favourite music or reading a good book or magazine.
Watch a Christmas Film
My favourite Christmas film just has to be Love Actually, and it’s become a bit of a ritual watching it every year. Before Christmas, I’m usually too busy to sit and watch much TV, but once the big day is done and dusted, I allow myself some down time. There’s nothing more restorative than a movie that conjures up nostalgia paired with a crackling fire, a mug of turmeric latte with a few maple-roasted nuts. Perfect!
I really hope my tips have inspired you to take some time to nurture your needs and be a bit kinder to yourself, so that you can greet the new year with a fresh bounce in your step.
Have a fantastic Christmas! x